A Book Review

You Did What?  Saying “No” to Conventional Cancer Treatment

By Authors Hollie and Patrick Quinn

Last month I attended a Advances in Cancer Strategies Symposium in Stamford, Connecticut which was sponsored by Healthy Medicine Academy.  At this conference, I had the distinct pleasure and honor of meeting Hollie and Patrick Quinn.  Hollie gave me her book and I started reading it when I arrived home.  This is an astounding book for so many reasons.  Not only are they wonderful and profound writers, but also they illustrate not only in statistics, but in Hollie’s survival of an aggressive cancer, that decisions in cancer treatment are not as simple as they appear.

Here is an example of the profound writing in the first paragraph of the book.  In August of 2002, the forces of life and death knocked on our door simultaneously.  When we opened the door, there they stood.  Our beautiful new daughter, Cassie, and cancer together.  Cassie, on the doorstep in the tight swaddle that she seemed to love being in; and those perfect lips of hers.  And cancer–dark, full of fear and despair, beckoning us into its abyss.

It is such an anomaly of being 38 weeks pregnant with a diagnosis of breast cancer.  Hollie age 27 at the time literally went from diagnosis to delivery in the same day with induced labor.  Less than two weeks later she had a lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy.  (As a breast cancer survivor myself, I cannot imagine the colliding of two separate worlds one of life and one of possible death and all within weeks of the other.)  Then she had to recover from surgery and make all of those simply awful cancer decisions while caring for a newborn.

Hollie and Patrick took matters into their own hands and did something I did as well:  Research.  Research. Research.  She was recommended to have chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, and radiation.  And in the end, she said No to everything which was an incredibly brave decision.

In this book, they are very precise on explaining the statistics for the treatments offered by some of the best physicians on the West Coast.  They explain those statistics in the terms of Dr. Susan Love, the breast cancer expert:  For every 10 women who receive chemotherapy, (similar to Hollies) seven would remain healthy without it, two would have had a recurrence anyway, and one would be spared a recurrence due to chemotherapy.   

Viewing that statistic, 90 percent of women are incorrectly subjected to the rages of potentially deadly chemical treatments–is not being revealed in this book for the first time.  It’s widely known.  

In fact, I wrote about this myself for Redflagsdaily in 2002 and how chemotherapy statistics are manipulated to get the person to say yes.  It was done to me.   If a doctor says you have an 8-10% reduction of risk of recurrence (the statistics for stage one), the ordinary person thinks okay, my risk is 30%, and now it could be 20%.  WRONG.  I didn’t even figure this out until 7 years after my decision to say no when I wrote about it.  The correct math and absolute survival statistics works like this:  You need to take 8-10% of the risk of 30%, so the absolute benefit for poisoning oneself is 3% for a premenopausal patient, and .9% for a post menopausal patient.

What makes Hollie’s decision so brave indeed was written about in chapter 7.  Hollie’s cancer was ER+ and PR-. . . .but it was also HER2/neu Positive.   These cancers are more aggressive and have a poorer prognosis.

I just can’t do this book justice in a short book review.  This story is about saying no to the financially driven cancer machine on one hand, but more importantly, it is a story of survival concerning her decisions and what she did do to prevent a recurrence.

While they were doing all the research, they had  one of those angelic connections in life. A neighbor  pointed her to an Oriental Medicine Doctor in Santa Monica, who took off of her shelf the book Herbal Medicine, Healing and Cancer by Donald Yance a renowned herbalist.  They write:  And in that moment, our neighbor had cured Hollie’s cancer.  

Donald Yance had a clinic in  Oregon called The Centre for Natural Healing.  And they called immediately.  Again the angels intervened because her chemo was rescheduled and the clinic found an opening.  She was already on steroids to mitigate the damage the chemo would do to her when she had that first consultation one day before her chemo treatment.  The Centre asked her to delay chemo a week.  IT IS NOW TEN YEARS LATER.

In their book, Hollie and Patrick explain a lot about not so common information about the Proof or Spoof?  The Case against Conventional Cancer Treatment.  One of the most  astounding recommendations for Hollie was the tamoxifen which is showed in several medical studies to actually increase the risk of recurrence for someone HER2 positive.  And that ER+ and PR- tumors are less sensitive to tamoxifen.  Apparently, none of her  oncologists paid attention to that critical research.

So Holle and her husband Patrick went with the protocols recommended by Donald Yance.  And then they changed every aspect of their lives from the food they ate, to their immediate environment, to cleaning products, to  pure water.  (This is by the way the same thing I did with changing everything).  So what is Hollie’s response to survival by conventional medicine?  SHE WAS LUCKY!  Lucky?  How arrogant!  How wrong this is when someone is alive and well with the decisions and treatments she chose.  It is more than lucky!  And have any of her conventional doctors ever asked her what she did do?  Of course not.

Saying that Hollie was lucky is merely another way of saying that she didn’t need the harmful treatments being recommended so strenuously to her in 2002.  It’s just another way of saying that those treatment prescriptions were medical mistakes, and that there was another, safer, smarter option that our doctors simply missed. . . .

These doctors ignored the wisdom that underlies the botanical and nutritional science of Hollie’s traditional medicine treatment protocol.  The logic behind Hollie’s treatment is simple–change the body’s biochemistry to make it inhospitable to cancer. . . . with targets synergistic and safe natural medicines, together with comprehensive lifestyle changes all built upon a solid foundation of nutritional science is the result of 5000 years of accumulated wisdom from a wide variety of medical disciplines.

Chapters 9 and 10 in the book compare medicine’s view of fighting fire with fire as opposed to their view of fighting fire with water.  In those chapters they compare the two approaches to prevention and to monitoring and finding breast cancer through the use of thermograms versus mammograms to mention one thing.  They are comprehensive chapters on these controversial issues.

Hollie and Patrick’s writing is so grounded in science and references to back up everything they say.  They are not Pollyannas but are realistic researchers who happened to have found a better way to confront Hollie’s cancer.  And by the way, as Patrick mentions in the book, he helped Hollie research.  She came to her own decisions.

What a profound picture of Hollie from the beginning of the book finding out she had cancer and being curled up in a corner of the closet, to this brave courageous woman and couple who did their homework and found a better way for them.  And survived and thrived to write and talk about it.  As the last chapter title, She Got Well Again is quite an understatement.  Not only did she get well again, but their second child was born in 2006.  The arrival of Michaela was an important hallmark of Hollie’s health overall, since her cancer had initially developed during her pregnancy, such that there was a chance that, had her body still been susceptible to cancer, it may well have developed again during her second pregnancy.

Meeting Hollie and Patrick was one of the highlights of that conference.  Reading their book of decisions and survival in many ways reflected my own decisions and was quite profound.

But this book You Did What?  Saying “No” to Conventional Cancer Treatment, makes a bigger mark than one person’s survival.  It clearly shows all of the flawed thinking, lists all of the statistics, and really gives anyone in the midst of cancer decisions something to think about.  They are not saying that everyone should follow Hollie’s path.  They are saying that there is much more to consider when considering poisoning one’s entire system to survive a life threatening disease.  It gives one pause that CancerLand has almost everyone marching down the road like sheep to the slaughter.  But this book shows that there is another way.  Or at least if there isn’t another way, there are still things that can be done to mitigate some of the damage done by conventional treatments.

It’s not only a good read, but  also shows a remarkable path of inquiry leading to a “Road Less Traveled,”  for any newly diagnosed cancer patient.  I applaud both Hollie and Patrick on writing this book and showing this path.

The best way to end this review is in Hollie and Patrick’s own words: Our lives today are admittedly a blissful arrangement of health, happiness, and deep-seated serenity.  Our journey began where most cancer journeys start–in a thick and dark forest of fear, where you can’t see the forest or the trees.  We slowly but surely cut a healing path to an almost unbearable lightness of being.  Our focus now is on creating more and broader paths from illness to wellness, so that others might find a safe passage, as we did. We leave you with a wish, offered with all the energy we can possibly muster, that you and yours get well again too, and whatever it is that ails you, and whatever path back to wellness you choose.  And if your intuition is telling you that there’s a safer and smarter way back, then we promise you there is.  Hollie found it, and you can too.